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Self-promotion is something that not all of us are good at. However, as an author or blogger, it is very likely that at some point, you will need to promote a product, service or event. This blog post on how to promote events is a mini guide to some of the options that are available to you online to promote events. Not all of them will be relevant to every event and not all of them will work every time. Over time, monitor and evaluate what works and what does not work for you and your author business.
Methods to Promote Events
1. A sales email marketing sequence
Email marketing tools such as [AFF] Mailerlite, ActiveCampaign, MailChimp etc. are great tools to employ if you have built up an email list (which is always highly recommended). You will either have a main mailing list, or a segmented list, which categorises people by what services you offer that they are interested. It is better to send fewer emails to a smaller group of people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer, than loads of emails to a huge number of people who are not interested. Always target your ideal customer and try not to be too broad. People are much more likely to unsubscribe if they received lots of sales loaded emails about products or services they are not interested in.
Plan your emails so that they are spread out over a time period giving people plenty of notice of your event, why they should attend/purchase, the details and towards the date of the event or product release focus on the limited time to join. Do not overload people on the last day however. It’s great to remind them but if you try to ram the event down their throats, they are likely to walk away (I had an example of this during this past week when I got four emails on one day trying to persuade me to sign up for something. The final email prompted me to unsubscribe rather than sign up to the event).
Do not send just sales emails. Although the main drive is to encourage people to buy, do also provide them with something in return and not just a sales email. Give them value as well as an opportunity to buy. People do like to get something for nothing, even if that’s snippets of information or tips – a great loss leader (giving away something of value for free) can often increase sales.
2. Paid advertisements (ads) on Google and/or social media
If you have some money in your budget for marketing then paid ads are a great way to go. However, be sure to be spending your hard earned pennies in the right place and on the right campaigns. Google ads are pay per click (PPC) ads that (no surprise) show up on the search pages of Google. These ads are targeted at people searching for just the thing you’re trying to promote, so they can be high effective.
As well as Google, you can also advertise on social media platforms with your ads showing up in people’s feeds. Again these should be targeted to the niche that is likely searching for what you offer. Do not try to sell to everyone – you will end up spending a small (or large) fortune and seeing very little Return on Investment (ROI). Remember that this traffic is what is known as “cold” – you are advertising to people who probably haven’t heard or you and have no clue what you do.
Do your research and consider exactly who you want to target and the best copy and image for your ads. Watch out for a post coming soon which gives more information about paid ads.
3. Retargeting ads
Similar to point 2, these are paid for advertisements either on Google or social media. The difference is that these ads are targeted at people who have visited your website or social media account but have navigated away without acting.
This type of advertising relies on those pesky little cookies that pop up all over the internet. They track people’s behaviour on the web and allow ads to be targeted based on specific behaviours. By using this information, relevant, targeted ads can be shown to users that have shown an interest in your brand. As you are targeting warmer traffic, this increases brand awareness and often leads to more conversions.
4. Social media promotion
Social media is a great free platform to get your message out into the world (see my post on Social Media for Writers if you need to learn the basics). As we have discussed at points 2 and 3 above, you can utilise the paid ads features of social media platforms to reach beyond your own audience. However, you can also promote to the followers that you already have. These leads are warm as they already known and like you, and are therefore more likely to buy from you.
As with email campaigns, do not oversell. Ensure that you provide value as well as opportunities to buy. Social media is more about engagement than anything else so be sure to post regularly, interact and engage.
5. Evergreen lead magnet
An option to have on your website is an evergreen lead magnet and email sequence for a product or event. Evergreen means that it can be used over and over and will drive people towards a product or service. People like getting something for free so will be drawn to the lead magnet but this should be relevant to what you are trying to promote. Tailor the follow up email sequence to discuss the lead magnet, give people more value and also promote the service, product of event, you want them to ultimately sign up for.
Having something that is evergreen means you don’t need to set up a whole new sequence every time and keeps people interested. Utilise the power of email automations to move people along sequences depending on their actions e.g. if they do A then they get email B but if instead they do X then they get email Z. Try to keep leads warm, don’t overwhelm them and keep giving value and opportunity until they buy.
6. Opt ins
Similar to point 5 is to have opt ins on your website that are specific to certain events, products or services. This is a way to get people on to your email lists and ensures they will only receive emails that are specific to what they are interested in. Opt ins can utilise lead magnets, or can simply be a way to get on a waiting or interest list, you do not always have to offer something physical in return (though it often helps).
Do you know how to promote events and offers? When you are looking at how to promote events do you utilise some or all of the above? Let me know what has worked for you in the past or how you plan to promote your upcoming event.